The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry

The Leading Professional and Representative Body for the Real Estate Industry



Daily News – 12, 13 & 14 Dec 2020 (Sat, Sun & Mon)

Singapore Real Estate

Govt may have to apply more subsidies to keep prime HDB flats affordable: Desmond Lee
To keep future HDB projects in prime locations affordable, the government may have to apply more subsidies, on top of those already provided for Build-To-Order (BTO) flat buyers, National Development Minister Desmond Lee said in a Facebook post on Friday.

Reits (Dec 12-13, 2020)

Farewell, home sweet home: Geylang Lor 3 residents prepare to hand houses back to the state
Era comes to a close as residents prepare to hand houses back to the state as lease ends

49 cases of fallen windows in first 11 months of this year
There were 49 cases of fallen windows across Singapore from January to last month, but no one was injured, said the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) last Friday. The majority of them, 32 cases, involved casement windows, while 16 were fallen sliding windows, and one case of louvre windows.


Singapore Economy

PM Lee to address nation on Singapore’s Covid-19 situation on Monday
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will be addressing the nation at 5pm on Monday, Dec 14, to give an update on the Covid-19 situation and the outlook for next year. The co-chairs of the ministerial task force tackling the pandemic – Health Minister Gan Kim Yong and Education Minister Lawrence Wong – will hold a press conference immediately after, he said in a Facebook post.

Singapore to welcome Taiwan visitors; travel to Taiwan allowed from Dec 18
Singapore will unilaterally lift its border restrictions for visitors from Taiwan from Dec 18 onwards, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) announced on Friday. Additionally, travel to Taiwan will also be allowed, though this is subject to the necessary precautionary measures and the entry requirements imposed by Taiwan, the authority said.

UK-Singapore FTA may loosen e-wallet rules for UK financial firms here
Singapore’s latest trade deal with the UK may translate to more attractive terms of opening up for UK-based financial firms operating here. Under the free trade agreement (FTA) signed on Thursday, Singapore has agreed to start a review next year to consider raising the e-wallet payment limits under the Payments Services Act (PS Act), which impacts fintechs like TransferWise and Revolut.

Singapore, Shanghai to boost collaboration in financial services, innovation
Singapore and Shanghai will strengthen collaboration in financial services and innovation, as the latter develops the China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone and spearheads the integration of the Yangtze River Delta region. Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong, who is also Education Minister, has proposed that Singapore and Shanghai continue to bolster their hub-to-hub connectivity in three key areas.

Govt allots record S$25b to science and tech for more resilient Republic
A record S$25 billion is earmarked for the next five years in the government’s continuing efforts to tap science and technology in building a Singapore that will be more resilient, sustainable and digitalised – and which will emerge stronger in a post-Covid world.

Cyber security, 5G, AI 3 key drivers of post-Covid-19 digital economy
Artificial intelligence, 5G and cyber security will be the key drivers in growing Singapore’s digital economy in a post-Covid-19 world. Outlining the country’s research plans to 2025, the National Research Foundation (NRF) said yesterday that new opportunities exist at the intersection of AI, 5G and cyber security, and in digital tools that engender trust in areas such as food, medicine and vaccine provenance.


Companies’ Brief

SLB moves beyond property development
The risk involved in embarking on property developments in the current climate is prompting SLB Development to modify its strategy. The company is the property development arm of mainboard-listed construction firm Lian Beng Group that was spun off via a Catalist listing in April 2018.

Soilbuild Group chairman, Blackstone to take Soilbuild Reit private at S$0.55 per unit
Soilbuild Group Holdings’ executive chairman Lim Chap Huat and Blackstone Real Estate have proposed to take Soilbuild Business Space Reit (Soilbuild Reit) private at S$0.55 in cash per unit. Soilbuild Group is the sponsor of Soilbuild Reit.

UOL’s Clavon tops first-day launch sales this year at 442 units
UOL Group’s launch of Clavon along Clementi Avenue 1 at an attractive price resulted in the best launch-day sales volume this year. It moved 442 units at an average price of S$1,640 per square foot during its first weekend launch, UOL said on Sunday.

Cromwell E-Reit to buy 11 Czech, Slovakia properties for 113.2m euros
Cromwell European Real Estate Investment Trust (Cromwell E-Reit) has proposed to buy 11 logistics and light industrial properties for 113.2 million euros (S$183.6 million). This comprises 50.8 million euros for six light industrial/logistics properties in the Czech Republic and 62.4 million euros for five industrial/logistics properties in Slovakia.

Marks & Spencer to shut its Raffles City outlet on Dec 31
British retailer Marks & Spencer will be closing its outlet at Raffles City Shopping Centre on Dec 31, but its 10 other stores islandwide will remain open. The update comes after the company placed an advertisement in The Straits Times on Thursday about a “moving out sale” at its Raffles City shop.


Views, Reviews, Forum & Others

Tackling unprecedented challenges
Chia Ngiang Hong, President, Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore

The pandemic has drastically changed the real-estate landscape and forced a reality check on many real-estate businesses. It accelerates the need to crisis-proof their operations to ensure financial resilience with diversification of revenue sources, pursuit of digital strategies, and adoption of sustainable environmental practices to safeguard the safety, health and well-being of users of building and employees. As recovery is still not in sight for sectors like construction, hospitality and retail, it is critical to deepen engagement with the government and industry partners to ensure business sustainability. The crisis also opens up new opportunities which we should seize and prepare for in the new normal.

Gain for retailers by showcasing artists
Even as people slowly return to shopping malls for a quieter festive season, retailers are feeling the pain from more than half a year of zero or little foot traffic and less income. The retail sector saw a 10-month high record in business closures in September, with 457 companies shuttering for good.

Hedging vs timing the markets: How to plan for 2021
There’s no free lunch in investing: lower volatility in a portfolio must come with proportionately lower returns. Diversifying into assets that return less than equities, but are also less volatile, is the traditional academic recommendation to achieving this, and has been described as the closest thing to a free lunch.

New hotels spare no effort to ensure peace of mind for guests
Opening a hotel during a pandemic signals the level of optimism in the sector but it also brings huge new challenges for hoteliers. The most pressing is the huge outlay of money and time that has to be spent on frequent cleaning and sanitising to ensure peace of mind for guests.

S’pore taking bold steps: PM
Singapore will do its part to meet the commitments under the Paris Agreement, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a video message at the Climate Ambition Summit yesterday. The event saw global leaders share the steps they are taking to reach the goal of net-zero emissions.

Rise of ‘shadow capital’ despite pandemic putting Asean private equity in the shade
One clear trend that has emerged is that throughout 2020, shadow capital investors – who are deploying direct capital throughout the cycle – appear to be unfazed by the market turmoil, said a recent Bain & Company report this month. A string of such investors – including Singapore’s GIC and Temasek, Abu Dhabi’s ADIA, family-owned Verlinvest and corporates such as Tencent – participated in South-east Asian and Asia-Pacific private equity (PE) deals throughout 2020, helping to stabilise the scene.

Plan Gen Z: A new generation of young, active investors is diving into markets
A generation of digital natives, tooled up to their eyeballs with online instruments and physically grounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, are dipping their toes into a new hobby – investing. With holiday plans foiled and stay-home arrangements in place for both work and class, more young people have taken to exploring the digital landscape for making money.

Covid-19 turned me into a serial online bargain hunter
9.9, 10.10, 11.11 and 12.12. For those who have switched to online shopping in a big way, these numbers have become part of their lingo. The same goes for a technophobe Generation X-er like me, who is missing the oniomania gene. But thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, these four super shopping days on Asia’s e-Commerce calendar are now part of my vocabulary.


Update on COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) Situation

Seven new Covid-19 cases in Singapore, all imported
[Singapore] There were seven new coronavirus cases confirmed as of Sunday noon, taking Singapore’s total to 58,320. All were imported cases who had been placed on stay-home notices on arrival in Singapore. No cases from the community or within worker’s dormitories were announced on Sunday by the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Travellers from HK face stricter SHN restrictions
From Monday, all travellers en-tering Singapore with travel history to Hong Kong in the previous two weeks must serve a 14-day stay-home notice (SHN) at dedicated facilities. But they are allowed to opt out of serving the notice at dedicated facilities if they are occupying their place of residence alone, or with household members with the same travel history and SHN duration.

Singapore-made Covid-19 test kit using saliva ready for use
Instead of nasal swabs, those who need to be tested for Covid-19 in Singapore may soon have the option of offering their saliva sample, following the development of a test kit here. The Resolute 2.0 kit was developed by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s Diagnostics Development (DxD) Hub and DSO National Laboratories in July.

S’pore firm enters final stage of clinical trial of Covid-19 antibody
The final phase of the clinical trial for a Covid-19 antibody developed by Singapore biotechnology company Tychan began yesterday. The antibody can potentially help patients with the coronavirus to recover faster, while slowing the progression of the infection.

About eight in 10 here would say yes to Covid-19 vaccine jab: Survey
A recent survey commissioned by The Straits Times of 1,000 people aged 16 and above here found that about eight in 10 would say yes to getting a Covid-19 vaccine, with more than half of this group willing to get it as soon as it is available.

Start jabs soon or wait and see? Hear experts’ views at ST webinar
The implications of the British government giving Covid-19 vaccine manufacturer Pfizer protection against legal action will be one of the topics discussed during a webinar to be held on Thursday. Experts on a panel will also discuss whether Singapore ought to start vaccinating its citizens against the coronavirus as soon as possible, or whether it would be best to wait and see how other countries’ vaccination efforts pan out, given the low spread here.

Free Covid-19 test for hostel residents at four unis in Jan
Residents staying in hostels at four autonomous universities here will be offered a one-time free Covid-19 test next month. The Ministry of Education (MOE) said the testing is for residents at the National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore Management University (SMU) and the Singapore University of Technology and Design.
*For more information, please visit the Ministry of Health (MOH) website at and refer to for updates on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) situation


Global Economy & Global Real Estate

Should New York’s Midtown offices become apartments?

Deutsche Bank may eventually allow New York City staff to move elsewhere

Hedge funds eye malls, hotels and office buildings hit by pandemic

UK’s Rightmove forecasts 4% rise in house prices for 2021

Warehouses lure more cash than offices in pandemic-fuelled flip

Tolkien house up for sale

Pandemic leaves over-50s with uncertain long-term job prospects

Leaders to push Brexit trade talks beyond latest deadline

EU approves US$2.2t stimulus package backed by joint debt

EU leaders clinch deal on tougher 2030 climate goal

BioNTech, Pfizer face challenge of producing more vaccine

Investors swap China holdings from Wall St to HK as delisting threat brews

China’s new home prices rise 0.1% in November from October

Japan business sentiment improves as economy emerges from pandemic hit

Tokyo set to be removed from Japan’s travel subsidy as cases rise

HK ‘Shop King’ struggles to sell billions in property bought during peak

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